Dicentra eximia

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Dicentra eximia
Dolly Sods (Dicentra Exima) Fringed Bleeding Heart.jpg

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Subfamily: Fumarioideae
Tribe: Fumarieae
Subtribe: Corydalinae
Genus: Dicentra
Species: D. eximia
Binomial name
Dicentra eximia

Dicentra eximia (wild or fringed bleeding-heart, turkey-corn) is a flowering plant with fernlike leaves and oddly shaped flowers native to the Appalachian Mountains. It is similar to the Pacific bleeding-heart (Dicentra formosa), which grows on the Pacific Coast.


Leaves are finely divided and gray-green, growing from the base of the plant.

Flowers are pink and bloom in tight clusters at the top of leafless, fleshy stems above the leaves from mid-spring to autumn. The four petals are connected at the base. The two outer petals are pouched at the base and bent back at the tips. The inner petals are perpendicular to the outer petals and connected at the tip. The pistil is enclosed within the inner petals, and the two stamens are on either side. There are two tiny, triangular, pink sepals above the petals.

Seeds are borne in a plump, pointed pod. They ripen to black while the pod is still green. Each has a white elaiosome prized by ants.

Pacific bleeding-heart (Dicentra formosa) is frequently confused with and sold as Dicentra eximia. It has wider, more rounded flowers with shorter wings on the outer petals (see the photo below).


Fringed bleeding-heart is native to the Appalachians from southwestern Pennsylvania south to Tennessee and North Carolina. It typically grows in rocky woodland at an altitude of 330 to 5,575 ft (100 to 1,700 m).[1]


There are several cultivars of Dicentra eximia. Some are hybrids with Dicentra peregrina and Dicentra formosa.[1]

Dicentra eximia
  • Dicentra eximia 'Alba' — white flowers
  • Dicentra eximia 'Snowdrift' — larger white flowers
  • Dicentra 'Bountiful' — Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana × Dicentra eximia — rosy red flowers
  • Dicentra 'King of Hearts' — Dicentra peregrina × (Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana × Dicentra eximia) — pink flowers, very finely cut leaves
  • Dicentra 'Luxuriant' — Dicentra eximia × Dicentra peregrina — cherry-red flowers
  • Dicentra 'Silversmith — Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana × Dicentra eximia — white, pink-flushed flowers
  • Dicentra 'Stuart Boothman' — probably Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana × Dicentra eximia — deep pink flowers


  1. ^ a b Tebbitt, Mark; Lidén, Magnus; Zetterlund, Henrik (2008). Bleeding hearts, Corydalis, and their relatives. Timber Press. pp. 61–63. 

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